The Bergamese Sect
By Alastair Gunn
A small group of people seeks to solve and reveal a message concealed in an innocuous piece of email. A former lawyer is on a quest to discover the truth of a strange occurrence he experienced. A secret organization who operates behind and beyond the government controls a long held conspiracy while hiding the reality behind it…if they can secure the information from an elusive contact. And what how do they all relate to a little known Bellini painting of a Spanish monk wearing an enigmatic pendant?
I won’t divulge a lot of what the conspiracy is but part of it is revealed early on. I get excited about DaVinci Code type puzzlers, conspiracy stories, past mysteries that affect the present. Whether it’s a quest for an ancient treasure or a shadowy group controlling present day events, I love ’em.
This story has a little bit of D-Code, a nod to Ludlum, and some bizarre aspects. It’s a drawn out plot, so reserve some time for reading.
Larry Walsh: Assistant Director of the NSA, mid 40s, graying temples, bumpy complexion, dark eyes, father died in the Vietnam War
David Castro: attorney, wife and child left him, drives a Dodge truck, early 30s, black hair, studied at Yale
Matt Chambers: parents dead, ex smoker (when we first see him),
Clara: mid 20s, white hair, blue eyes, smokes
Bob Sewell: aging, gray mustache, chairman of the Daedalus committee
Ted Daintry: works in intelligence, overweight
Michael Schlessinger: Grandfather was a Nazi, short brown hair, sallow face, early 30s, wears glasses, weedy voice
A very nice variety of characters. The cast is not so large you can’t keep track of everyone, but there are characters who have a one or two scene part then disappear.
Some of the individual voices get lost when the conversations get lengthy and lecture-ish.
Profanity. Some capitalization errors. At least one misspelled word. In general, the writing could be a bit tighter. Some unnecessary words here and there. (‘swallowed it down’. The word ‘down’ is not needed.) In one chapter, a character is described has having a ‘bumpy complexion.’ That’s okay, but that same description is used for Walsh early in the book. It’s enough of a unique type of wording I remembered it. I didn’t think Walsh had traveled from Washington all the way to a European train so I was a bit confused.
I was also a bit confused by time. One chapter has it night in Germany and the next has it early morning-still dark-in Washington, D.C. It was difficult to determine passage of days at different points around the globe. Obviously, the two chapters I mentioned above could not have happened at the same time on the same day. 4 a.m. in Washington would be noon or so in Germany.
Otherwise, the action was good. There’s always something else right around the next corner-whether in California or Connecticut or London-that kept me turning pages. I’ll compliment the author on his research
As mentioned above, this is a lengthy novel. There are two or three ‘stories’ going on that connect to each other, but it takes some time for everything to come together. Still, it’s a good story. I think however it falls just short of Blue.